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The latest round in the Apple Vs Adobe scwabble has seen a press release published by Apple explaining their position. As they attempt to take a moral high ground, they come off sounding like total hypocrits!

Sure, its easy to take a pop at flash… its bloated, buggy (on linux) and will eat into your system performace like no ones business. But with all that considered, it is responsible for a large amount of the matirial we consume online, and its not going away anytime soon.

But apples opening argument on its press release attempts to slam adobe for its lack of openness. Below I have quoted this section of the PR, as for no excerpts to be taken out of context.

    First, there’s “Open”.

    Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.

    Apple has many proprietary products too. Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards. Apple’s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards. HTML5, the new web standard that has been adopted by Apple, Google and many others, lets web developers create advanced graphics, typography, animations and transitions without relying on third party browser plug-ins (like Flash). HTML5 is completely open and controlled by a standards committee, of which Apple is a member.

    Apple even creates open standards for the web. For example, Apple began with a small open source project and created WebKit, a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine that is the heart of the Safari web browser used in all our products. WebKit has been widely adopted. Google uses it for Android’s browser, Palm uses it, Nokia uses it, and RIM (Blackberry) has announced they will use it too. Almost every smartphone web browser other than Microsoft’s uses WebKit. By making its WebKit technology open, Apple has set the standard for mobile web browsers.

For Apple to try and take the stand as the ‘good guy’ in an openness and free speech argument is so asburd and hypocrytical that only a fanboy would be sucked in by this garbage.

We all know that the iPhone and iPad are the two most locked down and controlled devices ever brought to market. EVER. Apple control exactly what the hardware is cabable of, through their propriatory OS. Apple control exacly what software is available for the platform, through the app store application process. Apple control exactly how developers make software through their propriatary SDK (mac only) and licence agreement.

By reading the above exerpt, you can see that Apple conveniently ignores all the points i mention, and focuses on web standards, thus conveying Apple as an advocate of openess and free creativity on the web. They believe that web standards should be open, but they don’t believe in openness when it has ramifications to their business model and profits (like in the app store).

Next, Apple gives its self a nice pat on the back for WebKit rendering engine. The wording of this shows Apple in a very positive light to the uniformed.

Apple did not create WebKit. They pillaged the opensource project KHTML, developped by KDE for their Konqueror browser. Apple made a fork of KHTML and named it ‘WebKit’, yet Apple withheld their code, preventing further colaboration with KDE on the project, and violating the initial terms of the licence. Apple eventually open-sourced their code in 2005, but from their behaviour, it is clear that they are not avocates of openness, and will do whatever it takes for their own gain.

So, that beats down every argument put forth by Apple against Adobe in regard to openness. Apple are hypocrits. Steve Jobs is the lead hypocrit. Apple fans are deluded fanboys who follow blindly and accept anything they are told. Apple are denouncing a company for following the same business model as Apple themselves. and that is pure hypocracy.

Please leave a comment if you have an opinion on this.

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One of the most appealing things about running a home network for me, is the ability to remotely administer and interact with any machine on the network, from a single terminal – in my case, an EEE PC.

Using SSH, It is incredibly simple to set up a ‘headless’ (computer box without a monitor or keyboard) workhorse to carry out any number of tasks for you. The said box can then be tucked away, somewhere out of the way and just be accessed remotely from another computer.

In this post we’ll be using it to download torrents.

So, you’ve installed you’re favourite linux distro onto the soon to be headless workhorse. now what? Well, there are 2 things we will need to do to set up this machine for remote connections. Firstly if you plan on running this machine without a monitor, there is no need to run X – all it does is waste CPU cycles and potential increase your power bill. So, enter the following command into a terminal for a command line boot up only:

sudo update-rc.d -f gdm remove

This tells the computer not to initiate X on start up, it doesnt remove it from your system. This command can be undone with

sudo update-rc.d -f gdm defaults

The other important thing that we need is the SSH server. Almost all distros come with an SSH client, for connecting to remote servers, but they don’t generally come with an SSH server to enable them to receive incoming connections, so it needs to be installed. Easily done, enter the following in a terminal to install the SSH server (debian and ubuntu derived systems):

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

N.B. Always run the commands

sudo apt-get update

and

sudo apt-get upgrade

before installing new packages

OK, now the server machine is setup, we can access it from another computer, say a laptop. Your other linux machine should have openssh-client pre installed. If not, install it with

sudo apt-get install openssh-client

. The next step is to actually establish a connection. and the way that we discuss that here, is through a LAN.

On the client machine, open a terminal, and type

ssh -L username hostname

or

ssh username@hostname

.
where username is the login name for the server that you wish to login under, and hostname is the name of the computer on the network. After this you will be asked a question regarding keys, you need to respond with ‘yes’ in order to continue. After that, enter the password for the given username of the remote server and you will connect.

You are now looking at the command prompt for the remote server, and the prompt should look something like username@hostname

You are now able to interact remotely with the server. you can perform any action that you could were you sat infront of the actual server.

Before we go any further, I want to talk about GNU Screen. Screen is a terminal multiplexer that allows multiple terminal sessions to be opened within a single terminal – think of it a little bit like ‘tabs’ in firefox or IE – you open just one browser, but can have many different pages going on at once. Except its far more useful than just that it allows you to maintain active terminal sessions on a remote server, even after you have logged out. Then, later on resume once reconnected. Absolutely invaluable when using SSH.

So. now that we are connected to the server, the smart thing to do is run screen. Next, we need to get rtorrent up and running rtorrent can be installed using

sudo apt-get install rtorrent

if you have any trouble getting rtorrent working, see this post

You are now ready to download torrents remotely

I recently reinstalled Linux onto my EEE 900 laptop. Using Ubuntu base installation as a starting point, I am building up a lightweight, super fast system from a minimal ubuntu install. So i’ve installed X, and fluxbox, file manager, rtorrent, iptables, nedit… so i basically have a very nice, very fast working system.

Next it was time to install a browser, again, i want to keep it light, but also capable.

So here is a run down of a few lightweight browsers, and my opinions of them.

Dillo
Dillo is extremely fast and lightweight browser, and in certain situtations, a pleasure to use. Minimal tool bars mean nearly all screen space is devoted webpages, and not the interface – a huge plus on an eeepc.

However, Dillo does not cope well when it comes up against bulky, complex sites. Limitted CSS support and no JavaScript support mean this browser is unusable on a number of sites that I use daily. If I was to make this my first choice browser, I would still need an alternative for accessing certain sites.

A good way to describe dillo, is that it covers a middle ground between fully featured browsers and text only browsers such as w3m. having said that, even w3m has JavaScript support!

A great browser for the simple things, but not enough on its own.

SeaMonkey
which is a WYSIWYG editor as well as a browser, which bares more than a little resemblance to netscape navigator (no accident). I had used this on a Puppy Linux live CD and had been very impressed with the speed – it uses mozillas rendering engine, so it supports sites almost as well as firefox. However, it just felt a bit clunky, and the interface took up a lot of screen real estate on the small eee screen. On top of that, there are a lot of dependencies for this software, and installation required a significant amount of disk space.

Conkeror
Conkeror is a lightweight browser based mozilla’s gecko rendering engine. the interface has been stripped away completely, and all that remains is a text input area at the bottom of the window. Conkeror relies on keyboard shortcuts similar to those in emacs or console based browsers in order to be used.

For example tapping ‘g’ allows a URL to be typed. Tapping ‘f’ results in all hyperlinks on a page being highlighted and numbered, the relevant number can then be entered to visit that link. ‘B’ and ‘F’ keys are used for back and forward, and so on.

All in all Conkeror is very fast and easy to learn. It does away with needless interface items and bloat – which is particularly helpful on a small screen, low spec system.

Links2

Links2 is a command line browser. I covered it before in an earlier post. The coolest feature of this ‘text only’ browser, is that it actually allows images to be rendered  and mouse support in the terminal/tty/ssh session, which makes it my first choice when I don’t have X running. However, a lack of JavaScript support limits it in many ways.

Like Dillo, a nice lightweight alternative, but cant be relied upon for all browsing due to its lack of support for advanced features.

w3m

Another CLI browser, Like Links2, can display graphics in the command line. On top of that, also supports JavaScript. Very fast, but not as pretty as Links2, and mouse support isnt implemented as well as Links2 either, nontheless, a good CLI browser.

So there you go, a quick rundown of some lightweight browsers available on linux. Right now, the crown goes to conkeror, it provides an intruative, uncluttered browsing experiance, and will likely baffle the average windows user who looks over your shoulder.

Tinycore is an extremely small graphical linux distro, available for x86 systems. Tinycore consists of pretty much the bare minimum required for a graphical linux environment (namely a Linux 2.6 kernel, Busybox, Tiny X, and Fltk) clocking in at just 10mb. TC runs entirely within RAM, saving its self to disk when the ‘sync’command is used, or at shutdown.

TC is essentially a blank canvas. functional enough to use from the get go, but with enough potential to make a very handy machine.

TC has two main modes of opperation.

1. Cloud – Non-persistant, suited to users who wish for an uncluttered system – simply boot up, select the app you wish to use, it will be downloaded and installed from the repo. after a reboot, system will have returned to default.
Personally, I cannot get my head around why users would prefer this mode over a persistant install. this requires software to be redownloaded after every boot. also, if any configurations and other personal settings are required, these will be lost. not to mention any files saved locally (althoug you could still save to mounted devices outside of the route file system, e.g. /mnt/sdd1/myfile

2. Mount mode – Offers persistance. ‘boot’ dir on storage media is loaded into ram at boot. all installed exentions will be loaded from ‘tce’folder. in adition, a any other directory (such as home) can be set as persistant by editing te relavent script.

I installed TC on to my eeepc 900 as i was looking for a quick and nimble distro with fast boot and capable enough for everyday usage – Wifi, browser, documents, video, audio.

The tinycore team have developed their own ‘exention manager’ (called appbrowser) to handle the installation and management of new software, the ‘appaudit’ to handle dependencies, and various other graphical tools to handle system admin. making this a fairly easy to expand distro.

The graphical environment is very fast and nimble, but will require some adjustment for users familiar with other, more integrated desktop environments.

For example, by default, there is no system tray or file manager. You must either use the ‘wbar’ menu at the bottom, or right-click to access the FLTK menu. Some could argue its not a user friendly system when it takes 3 mouse clicks to check the time/date!

But ofcourse, you are perfectly at liberty to add those features, and most users most certainly will add a file manager, and various other ‘essentials’.

One thing that must be taken into careful consideration when using TC, is what extentions to add. Thanks to the active community, there are 100s, perhaps 1000s of great extentions available through the appbrowser, but not all would be smart installations. for example:

1. openoffice is available, but at 90mb, its already 9x the size of the OS itself – adding serious bulk to what was previously a slim sleek distro

2.Many exentions will have a list of dependencies as long as my arm, meaning, to use that software, you need to install a buch of other software too – again fattening up your system considerably.

3.Some games and media players reccomend the use of Xorg as opposed to Tiny X. Whereas this is technically possible, it does seem like a step backwards for a distro with lightweight asperations.

I have installed the following extentions to give ordinary functionality

1. midnight commander – console based file manager
2. opera – web browser
3. beaver – text editor
4. mplayer – video, audio player
5. abiword – wordprocessor
6. gnumeric – spreadsheet
7. pidgin – instant messenger
8. various utils, zip, rar, conky

TC on the 900 handles all of these applications very nicely. All apps load very quickly, and can be swapped between with lightning speed. certain apps (such as pidgin) would certainly benefit from a system tray – which can be installed. other than that, usage is very good.

One complaint would be the unorthodox window decorations (rather than the typical minimizing, maximizing, close it uses ‘maximize width’ and ‘maximize height’, with minimize at the top left). this often forces me to shift a maximised window aside so that i can right-click in order to select another window.

aditionally, when opera gets busy, with multiple tabs, i did wittness the occational hang up, which is easily remedied by closing some tabs.

another annoyance is the unreliablity of the appsaudit tool and the appsbrowser (on poor connections). i’ve had all my TC exentions broken by dependency errors when trying to delete software and failed installations requiring manual installation of dependencies to make them work. the whole proccess can be a bit ‘hit and miss’.

So, in conclusion, TC is a very promising distro, and has an enthusiastic community and dev team. i think this distro has a lot of potential for the future, and i will definitely be following its progress. if you are a linux newbie, avoid this distro – its probably a bit too hands on for you, and you will definitely struggle if you run in to trouble. but for everyone else, dive right in. its a refreshing change.

I hear that TC 2.10 is now available, and touts significant improvements to appsbrowser/appsaudit amoung others. defintely a fast moving distro!

4 out of 5

I recently needed to let off a little steam,so i decided to provide some feedback for Apple in respect to the iPad. Below is my email, submitted via apple.com. Lets see if they take anything onboard. haha

———————————————————————-

When will apple learn? The ipad might be considered a ‘pleasurable user experience’ with ample battery life, and a responsive touch display, but what apple is doing is reigning terror on its users.

In politics, apples position of power over its users would be compared to a dictatorship. Do you care for your users at all? The iphone/ipad ‘ecosystem’ restricts users in a way unparalleled in computing prior to the phone/itouch launch.

The biggest example of fascism in this sickening fiasco, is ofcourse the mandatory use of itunes/appstore in order to acquire new content or software for your device. Forbidding developers to release there software under open ‘free speech’ licences such as ‘GNU GPL’ or ‘MIT’ yet, as a company, having no qualms about pillaging the opensource community for your own gains when it suits you, shows just how greedy and hypocritical you really are.

The members of your staff who approve/reject appstore submissions, are clearly scitzophrenic. allowing an app one day, rejecting it the next, requiring re-submission for every update made to the app… Apple seems proud of the fact that there are [insert number of apps here] apps available for the this environment. never heard of quality over quantity?

back in the iphone/itouch only days. I could grudgingly accept the product for what it is. like games consoles, i do appreciate the importance of protecting what has been created. BUT! with the a move into the tablet sector, and with apple championing this ‘ipad’ as a computer, occupying the same ground as netbooks? no i will not stand for that. Is apple really trying to control users so tightly?

look at all non-apple phones out there. users are free to install compatible apps.how they please. the symbian and android projects are entirely opensource. windows mobile allows for the installation of open software and does not restrict its licensing. i happily run a python interpreter on my symbian device, and best of all, i haven’t spent a penny on software for it.

oh yeah, how could i be so naive? I just hit the nail on the head. MONEY. Don’t lie to your ignorant fanboy supporters who would jump off a cliff if SJ told them to. You lie to them and tell them that the ‘lockdown’ on the iphone/ipad is for there own good. you tell them that jailbroken devices are anti-apple and will cause the downfall of man. Are you that insecure in your ability to build a sturdy and resilient platform that you need to do that?

Ok, thats the main point, other stuff.. suggestions for the net gen of ipad (you might actually like some of these, but you’ll have heard these from other users for sure)

1. USB. not hard. every computer since 1998 has had one or more… except yours. I dont want to hear your excuses, you are crippling your users without it.

2. VGA/DVI/HDMI. add some kind of video out onto the device. I can see that you have released about 6 dongles to add ‘partial support’ for this sort of thing… but $30 for another item that you need to carry around?

3.MULTI TASKING. yes. computers have been doing this for so long,its not even funny. yeah. I get it, the ipad is underpowered,so…running multiple programs would slow the thing down thus impeding the much hyped user experience

4.HOMESCREEN. yeah you are using the same OS as iphone (more or less) but the ipad would benefit greatly from a redesigned homescreen to best make use of the screen space. you could integrate widgets and other webservices direct into the homscreen (like some other devices)

5.DRM. there is a snowballs chance in hell of you listening to this. DRM hurts your users. when will you understand that? it impedes usability and makes a mockery your ‘unparalleled user experience’ fascists!

Ok apple, listen carefully – stop trying to dazzle the media and fanboys with all ‘magical’ ‘revolutionary’ bullsh_t. concentrate on what matters (I dont mean how pretty the case is, or how smooth scrolling is, or having ‘nice animated menus) – if you still havnt figured it out,i’m taking about productivity and functionality. I really believe that the zombies that use your tech will awaken one day, and they’ll realize what tyrants you are.

Apart from that, Love it!

Tom

I found this project on the blog of wordpress theme author Neoease. A simple script that you can reference on your website website, which will show the above notification to anyone who visits your site using IE6. Lets all join him in banishing IE6 from the world!

Just add the following code within your <body> tags

<!--[if lte IE 6]>
	<script src="http://letskillie6.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/letskillie6.pack.js"></script>
<![endif]-->

p2p

Wondering which peer-2-peer method is best for you? I’ll be looking at some of the most popular, and rating them in different areas. It appears that this post got a little longer than i had originally intended, but i didnt want to cut anything because this is good stuff. Read on…

What do you want to download?

The first question i shall ask is: what do you want to download? It is true that some networks/protocols are better for certain content than others. Here is a quick rule of thumb.

Anime – IRC, FTP
I find that Amine is best obtained from either IRC, or FTP. Most fansub groups maintain there releases through these two methods, so it tends to be the most organised. I find torrents can contain a mish mash of different dubs and subs and differing file types and are best avoided.

Comics – IRC, Rapidshare
Comics are Usually released as .cbr or .cbz files. Rapidshare is the best way to go. many rapidshare forums have threads listing thousands of issues, very well organised.

Music – Soulseek, WinMX
Soulseek Wins. Not the most graceful or effective p2p tool, but there is so much rare and hard to find music on here, it just cant be overlooked.

Current TV – Torrents, Gnutella, FTP, IRC
Torrents and IRC are best for current TV – usually encoded and uploaded within hours of airing. Torrents are probably top because it is the most rapid distribution method, allowing a file to proliferate in mere hours.

Current movies – Torrents, IRC, Rapidshare
Again, Torrents are very good for movie releases. The problem lies in finding high quality encodes with high quality sources. ‘Now Showing’ films at the cinema are unlikely to be good quality downloads (Cams – recorded in the cinema on handcams)

Games – Torrents
Games are widely available on all p2p methods. OF course, with games and software, viruses are a significant threat. this goes without saying, but always scan files with up-to-date AV before opening. and download from a trustworthy source – either a private torrent tracker or private FTP are good. Also read torrent comments to see what other users have said about the file.

Old stuff (TV, music, movies – FTP, Rapidshare, Gnutella,
If you’re lucky to enough to meet someone who archives a show on his FTP, then congratulations. Otherwise RS and Gnutella can be the way to go. Also, entire series and older stuff is released as torrents, but there will be fewer seeds on unpopular and less up to date stuff.

*about Newsgroups*
I have personally never used newsgroups, but my understanding is that you can get almost anything from them. I once spent weeks scouring the internet, every (free) filesharing method i knew of looking for a particular file – no luck, it just was not available, simple as that. However a friend of mine who is a subscribed newsgroup user *DID* find the file for me. And in just a day he had brought it into work for me! Needless to say, I wasted no time and uploaded it again in torrent form so more people could use it.

The above list is just an illustration, and will help you choose a network/protocol to find what you are looking for. But you wont find many people who just stick to one method, it makes no sense to limit yourself.

Ease of use

This is an important point. some P2P setups are not well suited for beginners, of course, savvy users can quickly move past this topic, but I have known many ppl stick with kazaa and bearshare – not because they dont know of something better, they just dont know how to do it. Here is how I rank the p2p methods in terms of ease of use.

1. Gnutella clients/Soulseek/WinMX

Very easy to use. download, install, and launch the client. Easy to use tabs including search and current downloads/uploads. Users must setup a share folder and share content or risk being banned by other peers

2. Rapidshare

In simple terms an HTTP file server where other users have added files. Visit a link, click download, wait for an alotted time, and you’re browser will download the file. The problem is, most downloads are split .rar archives, and only 1 file can be downloaded at a time, which makes downloading by hand very tedious. Use an automation tool such as Tucan(cross format, highly recommended) or Rdown(firefox extension) which allows you to paste all your links, and then automates the downloading.

3. FTP

FTP is very easy to use – the difficult part is getting access to the server! FTPs are private servers,so you need to know somebody who can give you access, or contribute in some way to earn access. If you do have access, there are numerous programs that will alow you to upload and download files. It works in a similar way to moving files around your own computer, just a bit slower =)

4. Torrents

Torrents are generally easy to use. The reason its in fourth place, is because sometimes it can be hard to fix problems when using torrents.

Download a client – i recommend utorrent to windows users. In linux I like rtorrent, but its a bit hard to use. Something like Transmission or ktorrent are both good.

Find a good site to source your torrents, download the small .torrent files. open them using your client and away you go.

5. DC

From what I understand, a DC client allows a user to connect to a wide number of hubs. A search facility can the be used to locate files from the connected hubs. Most hubs require clients to share a certain number of gigs/files in order to connect. Can require configuration in order to get working correctly

6. IRC

Most people know of IRC for chatting, but there is a huge file sharing community on IRC. The problem is learning how to use it. IRC is probably the least accessible file sharing protocol I know, but also one of my favourite. You’ll need to register on a given IRC network, identify, connect a chan that is serving files, wait for triggers regarding files, and then use a command line interface similar to linux’s BASH in order to get files. There is also a lot of etiquette that comes into play when using IRC – fail to follow procedure and you could find yourself banned.

So yes, IRC has the steepest learning curve, but is actually a lot of fun to use – I will dedicate an entire post to this topic in the future so watch out.

Need your files right now?

It is hard to be definitive on the speed of a given protocol, because so much varies. For example (in no particular ranking):

Torrents
with torrents, a very new, or very old file will be slow, as there will be few peers sharing the entire file. But a mid-life torrent is usually very fast, and can max out the majority of modern connections. Also very popular files will download very quickly using torrents, but un popular or rare files can take ages.

Rapidshare
Rapidshare is perhaps the most consistent in terms of speed,and therefore the easiest to predict download time. The only problem is,its not the fastest. Free users are heavily restricted – only able to download 1 file at a time, and must wait a given number of seconds between downloading each 100mb segment of their download Rapidshare is an absolute horror to use without a program like Tucan.

IRC
Speeds here depend on the individual file server that you are connecting too, and by and large, transfer rates are very fast. The problem occurs when there are queues. Most bots or users on IRC will only serve a small number of files simultaneously, to prevent the connection getting overloaded (typically 2-4 slots) If you request a file when all slots are full,you’ll be placed into the queue to await a free slot. Even still, the bot will tend to give priority to Voiced users, Ops and personal friends, contributers, etc, which means, as a newbie, you could find yourself at the bottom of the queue for a long time as priority connections overtake you!

SoulSeek
I have never been impressed with the speeds on soulseek. Luckily this network specialises in music, which means small files. Soulseek is a bit out of date technologically – it only allows for connections between 2 peers for a given file, meaning that you cant download a single file from multiple users who all have the same file – you have to select the particular user and file, initiate the download and potentially sit in a queue until a download spot becomes available.

FTP
Again, speed is dependant on the FTP servers connection and its current load – normally you will find that FTP transfers are very fast. The problem is, not many of us are blessed with knowing people kind enough to share they’re beloved FTP server with you. Yes, You’ll need IP address, username and password in order to download from an FTP.

Gnutella
Allows distributed distribution among many peers, meaning many parts of one file can be downloaded from many sources. At the user end, it appears somewhat similar to soulseek, but the way files are actually transfered is mare akin to torrents. Gnutella, despite its name, is not associated with the GNU project, but many Gnutella clients are realeased under the GNU GPL licence.

Anonimity and security

None of the above protocols are inately anonimous, meaning there is a chance (if you use p2p download copywritten material) that you can be identified and prosicuted. some torrent clients encrypt data, but this is normally a measure against traffic shaping which is a common strategy by facist ISPs (i used to work for an ISP – all they care about is the lost bandwitdth and server load that p2p causes)

However there are ways to make these methods anonimous.for example, connecting through Tor – a distibuted proxy which bounces connections through many computers, thus masking your IP address. Another is a piece of software called peer guardian which again, supposedly protects users when connecting to p2p networks.

There are however, a new breed file sharing protocols/networks which are innately anonymous and do not broadcast IPs, effectively making you untraceable. Such examples include GNUnet and Freenet

As far as security against viruses and malware goes. There is no way to be certain a file is clean. common sense prevails. Non executable media is more likely to be safe – i.e. video files, plain text files or music. But that does not mean you are safe. some media files will attempt to download trojans mascarading as codecs to name just one. Be extremely careful downloading any software or games. The safest places for these downloads are private torrent trackers and private FTPs. Windows users: always run up-to-date AV and scan everything once downloaded.

My advice is, if you use a spare machine as a downoading workhorse – do the sensible thing and run linux on it!

Conclusion

There is no single method which is the best. For most people, torrents or the Gnutella network will be adequate. I myself Use a selection torrents and rapidshare, occasionally firing up nicotine (linux soulseek client) when i’m looking for music. try them all, see which you like. feel free to leave comments and share your own experiences.